Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Wait: Gift Wrap

Image source: Occasional Planet

A couple weeks ago, I jokingly made a Facebook post about a guy I met here in grad school. I use the term “met” loosely, because we only spoke in passing. The status was as follows: 

A cute guy spoke to me today & my first thought was, he’s short. & then I thought, let me not be too picky because guys are hard to come by here. At my school, traditional undergraduate is all women. Adult undergrad and grad school are coed. Listen, I’m not trying to miss out on my blessing, but I’m 5’9, so I’d prefer my man to be at least 6’0. #FatherCanYouHearMe? #GradSchoolChronicles

Almost as soon as I posted it, I wished I hadn’t, because the judge-y responses started pouring in: “All he said was hello...” “Look beyond his exterior and look at the heart,” etc., etc. First of all, it was a lighthearted post, and wasn’t meant to be taken seriously at all. Secondly...I know all that already. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I got rid of my “unlisted list” a long time ago. Still, all those comments just rubbed me the wrong way.

Later that week, when I shared my status with a friend and told her how bothered I was by the responses, she made a valid point. She said, “Honey, God gave you two eyes for a reason. There’s no harm in looking. He knows what you need and what you want. Be specific and ask for it! He will give you the desires of your heart.”

That made me think: If God desires to give me a union that pleases and glorifies Him, would He really send me a man I’m not attracted to? I don’t think so. As long as the primary reason I’m attracted to a man is because of the God I see in him, I don’t see any harm in also liking what I see on the outside. After all, if I marry him, I’ll have to wake up to him in the morning—every morning—for the rest of my life.

Now, that doesn’t mean I get to be shallow in my choosing. Pastor Keith Battle said it best, "If you're looking for a relationship, don't get distracted by how they're formed and miss what they're full of." He’s right. I still need to, first and foremost, examine a man’s heart and his walk with the Father, but I also don’t have to pretend that I’m blind. I want my husband to be fine and of fine quality. I don’t plan to get distracted by how he’s formed, but I will notice. I don’t want a lump of coal wrapped in pretty Christmas paper, but I want the gift inside to be just as beautiful as the paper that drew me to it in the first place.

And yes, I realize that this works both ways. He has to also be attracted to my interior and exterior as well. I recognize that we all have preferences, we all have “types,” and while I do want to be physically attracted to the man I marry, I hope that his outer appearance won’t overshadow what really matters. As they say, it’s the inside that counts—the outside is just a bonus. Definitely something to think about.


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